A new study using aerial imagery across the state of California has found that converting land to grow almonds between 2007 and 2014 has led to a 27% annual increase in irrigation demands—despite the state's historic drought. The expansion of almonds has also consumed 16,000 acres of wetlands and will likely put additional pressure on already stressed honeybee populations.
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WATKINS, Larissa, WATSON, Kelly, & HUFFMAN, F. Tyler. (2016) MONITORING CHANGE IN AGRICULTURAL LAND AND WATER USAGE IN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY USING GEOSPATIAL TECHNIQUES. Geological Society of America. info:/10.1130/abs/2016AM-285205
‘Overpronation’ and achilles tendon blood flow... Read more »
Karzis, K., Kalogeris, M., Mandalidis, D., Geladas, N., Karteroliotis, K., & Athanasopoulos, S. (2016) The effect of foot overpronation on Achilles tendon blood supply in healthy male subjects. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine . DOI: 10.1111/sms.12722
We might think of animal mating being as simple as 1 male and 1 female, like on Noah's Ark. But many types of fish undergo sex changes throughout their lives. My goal is to open people's eyes to the diversity among sex in animals.... Read more »
Tsuboi, M., & Sakai, Y. (2016) Polygamous mating system and protogynous sex change in the gobiid fish Fusigobius neophytus. Journal of Ethology, 34(3), 263-275. DOI: 10.1007/s10164-016-0472-x
What do you see in the picture? An elephant, right?
Some will say that they see an African elephant, or perhaps an elephant in the savannah protecting from the sun in the shade of a tree. But who sees an elephant and a majestic flowering baobab surrounded by savannah shrubs in a dry grass meadow?
If your answer is the latter, congratulations, you are a quite unique case. If in the picture you just see “an elephant” then you are just like most of the people around you.
This pheno........ Read more »
"Elevated peripheral pro-NT [neurotensin] levels reflect more severe forms of active celiac disease, indicating a potential role of NT in intestinal inflammation."The suggestion, from Caroline Montén and colleagues , that the neuropeptide called neurotensin might play a role in paediatric coeliac disease is an interesting one that caught my eye recently. Interesting not only because of the potential implications for the archetypal 'gluten-causing' autoimmune condition cal........ Read more »
Montén C, Torinsson Naluai Å, & Agardh D. (2016) Role of pro-neurotensin as marker of paediatric celiac disease. Clinical and experimental immunology. PMID: 27612962
by Piter Kehoma Boll One of the most difficult concepts to explain in biology is certainly life itself. But I am not here today to talk about the definition of life, but rather of another puzzling concept: behavior. Behavior is the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bergner, R. (2016) What is behavior? And why is it not reducible to biological states of affairs?. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36(1), 41-55. DOI: 10.1037/teo0000026
Levitis, D., Lidicker, W., & Freund, G. (2009) Behavioural biologists do not agree on what constitutes behaviour. Animal Behaviour, 78(1), 103-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.03.018
Why do more men die when they attempt suicide than women? The answer could lie in four traits, finds scientists. There are over 6,000 British lives lost to suicide each year, and nearly 75 per cent of those are male. However, research has found women are more likely to suffer from depression, and to attempt to take their own life.
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Deshpande, G., Baxi, M., Witte, T., & Robinson, J. (2016) A Neural Basis for the Acquired Capability for Suicide. Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00125
Exergaming using the XBOX Kinect system has the potential to enhance postural control compared to standard gym-based exercise.... Read more »
Barry, G., van Schaik, P., MacSween, A., Dixon, J., & Martin, D. (2016) Exergaming (XBOX Kinect™) versus traditional gym-based exercise for postural control, flow and technology acceptance in healthy adults: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 8(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13102-016-0050-0
Today's post is a bit of a mash-up including two paper: the first from Emanuela Balestrieri and colleagues  (open-access available here) talking about "increased HERV-H [Human Endogenous Retroviruses - H] transcriptional activity in all autistic patients" included in their cohort (author's words not mine) and the second from D'Agati and colleagues  (open-access available here) describing "the reduction of HERV-H expression and the significant improvement of ADHD&n........ Read more »
Balestrieri E, Cipriani C, Matteucci C, Capodicasa N, Pilika A, Korca I, Sorrentino R, Argaw-Denboba A, Bucci I, Miele MT.... (2016) Transcriptional activity of human endogenous retrovirus in Albanian children with autism spectrum disorders. The new microbiologica, 39(3), 228-31. PMID: 27602423
D'Agati E, Pitzianti M, Balestrieri E, Matteucci C, Sinibaldi Vallebona P, & Pasini A. (2016) First evidence of HERV-H transcriptional activity reduction after methylphenidate treatment in a young boy with ADHD. The new microbiologica, 39(3), 237-9. PMID: 27602426
iPS cell-derived retinal cells have been successfully transplanted from one money to another without need of immunosuppressant drugs.... Read more »
Sugita S, Iwasaki Y, Makabe K, Kamao H, Mandai M, Shiina T, Ogasawara K, Hirami Y, Kurimoto Y, & Takahashi M. (2016) Successful Transplantation of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from MHC Homozygote iPSCs in MHC-Matched Models. Stem cell reports. PMID: 27641649
Researchers studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action offer a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement.
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Goard, M., Pho, G., Woodson, J., & Sur, M. (2016) Distinct roles of visual, parietal, and frontal motor cortices in memory-guided sensorimotor decisions. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.13764
Impacts and injury and the transition to minimalist running shoes... Read more »
Salzler, M., Kirwan, H., Scarborough, D., Walker, J., Guarino, A., & Berkson, E. (2016) Injuries observed in a prospective transition from traditional to minimalist footwear: correlation of high impact transient forces and lower injury severity. The Physician and Sportsmedicine. DOI: 10.1080/00913847.2016.1238282
'Does Correction of Strabismus Improve Quality of Life in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?' went the title of the paper by Pinar Ozer and colleagues . Yes, it may very well do was the answer (but with certain caveats and the requirement for a lot more research in this area).Strabismus, a condition where the eyes don't line up in the same direction, can sometime have some quite noticeable effects on a person's vision and indeed, has been linked to various other non-vision related sympto........ Read more »
Ozer PA, Kabatas EU, Bicer BK, Bodur S, & Kurtul BE. (2016) Does Correction of Strabismus Improve Quality of Life in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a Parent Survey by Ophthalmologists. Seminars in ophthalmology, 1-6. PMID: 27599387
The loss of the of the tumor suppressor gene VHL and the subsequent deregulation of VHL/HIF/VEGF signalling are known to play a role in development of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Renal tumours associated with BHD syndrome are histologically diverse and include a percentage of ccRCC (Pavlovich et al., 2002). Anti-angiogenic therapies targeting the VHL/HIF/VEGF pathway have emerged in past years (Rini et al., 2006) but the development of resistance to these therapeutic agents is leadi........ Read more »
Kammerer-Jacquet SF, Crouzet L, Brunot A, Dagher J, Pladys A, Edeline J, Laguerre B, Peyronnet B, Mathieu R, Verhoest G.... (2016) Independent association of PD-L1 expression with non-inactivated VHL clear cell renal cell carcinoma - a finding with therapeutic potential. International journal of cancer. PMID: 27623354
by Piter Kehoma Boll If you are walking through a forest in Europe you may find the bark of some trees covered by a thin rosy or orange crust. Commonly known as rosy crust, its scientific name is Peniophora incarnata. As … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lee, H., Yun, S., Jang, S., Kim, G., & Kim, J. (2015) Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Creosote-Contaminated Soil by Peniophora incarnata KUC8836. Bioremediation Journal, 19(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.1080/10889868.2014.939136
Suay, I., Arenal, F,, Asensio, F. J., Basilio, A., Cabello, M. A., Díez, M. T., García, J. B., González del Val, A., Gorrochategui, J., Hernández, P.... (2000) Screening of basidiomycetes for antimicrobial activities. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 78(2), 129-140. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026552024021
A couple of years back on this blog I talked about some rather intriguing research suggesting that epilepsy and autoimmune disease might not be unstrange diagnostic bedfellows (see here) and that a "potential role of autoimmunity must be given due consideration in epilepsy." Today, I'm continuing that research theme as the findings from Zhang Lin and colleagues  caught my eye concluding that: "There is an association between epilepsy and SAD [systemic autoimmune diseases], which ........ Read more »
Lin Z, Si Q, & Xiaoyi Z. (2016) Association between epilepsy and systemic autoimmune diseases: A meta-analysis. Seizure, 160-166. PMID: 27592469
Using archival documents, a new report examines the sugar industry's role in coronary heart disease research and suggests the industry sponsored research to influence the scientific debate to cast doubt on the hazards of sugar and to promote dietary fat as the culprit in heart disease.
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Kearns, C., Schmidt, L., & Glantz, S. (2016) Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research. JAMA Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394
The mighty water bear Tardigrades, aka water bears, are tiny animals that can be found just about everywhere on earth, with a slight preference for the moisture in moss. They happily amble along on their four pairs of legs and slurp up plant cells, algae, and even smaller invertebrates that can’t get away fast enough […]... Read more »
Boothby TC, Tenlen JR, Smith FW, Wang JR, Patanella KA, Nishimura EO, Tintori SC, Li Q, Jones CD, Yandell M.... (2015) Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(52), 15976-81. PMID: 26598659
Koutsovoulos G, Kumar S, Laetsch DR, Stevens L, Daub J, Conlon C, Maroon H, Thomas F, Aboobaker AA, & Blaxter M. (2016) No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(18), 5053-8. PMID: 27035985
Hashimoto T, Horikawa DD, Saito Y, Kuwahara H, Kozuka-Hata H, Shin-I T, Minakuchi Y, Ohishi K, Motoyama A, Aizu T.... (2016) Extremotolerant tardigrade genome and improved radiotolerance of human cultured cells by tardigrade-unique protein. Nature communications, 12808. PMID: 27649274
The findings reported by Harriet Hiscock and colleagues  are brought to the blogging table today, specifically that suggestion that paediatricians, at least in Australia, might be encountering an increased number of "developmental/behavioural conditions" as part of their workload.Looking at the clinical experiences of some 180 paediatricians who took part in the study in late 2013 and comparing them with data from 2008, researchers probed a number of practices relating to "(i) conditions seen........ Read more »
Hiscock H, Danchin MH, Efron D, Gulenc A, Hearps S, Freed GL, Perera P, & Wake M. (2016) Trends in paediatric practice in Australia: 2008 and 2013 national audits from the Australian Paediatric Research Network. Journal of paediatrics and child health. PMID: 27594610
It's advice most smokers with children probably take lightly, but they shouldn't. Parents and policy advocates should take a "zero tolerance" approach to exposing children to secondhand cigarette smoke, which can be responsible for lifelong cardiovascular consequences in addition to respiratory and other health issues.
... Read more »
Raghuveer, G., White, D., Hayman, L., Woo, J., Villafane, J., Celermajer, D., Ward, K., de Ferranti, S., Zachariah, J., & , . (2016) Cardiovascular Consequences of Childhood Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Prevailing Evidence, Burden, and Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000443
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